The Himachal Pradesh will soon achieve the distinction of ‘Nirmal State’. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister stated this while presiding over State level function organized to give prize to Nirmal Gram Panchayats at Hamirpur today. As many as 168 Gram Panchayats of the State were awarded by distributing Rs. 2.62 crore. He said that 3242 panchayats of the State had been made Open Defecation Free (ODF) till date and remaining 41 panchayats will be made Open Defecation Free by August, 2011. He said that during last three years 7.70 lacs toilets were constructed as compared to 2.25 lacs constructed in seven years from 2000 to 2007. All the Government schools had been provided with toilet facilities and during last three years, 21871 toilets had been constructed in Government schools, said he. Besides, 9053 toilets had been constructed in 18352 Anganwari Kendras and 7691 toilets were constructed in these Kendras during last three years of BJP regime. Apart from this 504 toilets were constructed in community complexes.

Chief Minister said that out of 688 panchayats, which got Nirmal Gram Puraskar, 666 Panchayats had got this during last three years. He said that the State Government had launched ‘Maharishi Balmiki Sampooran Swachta Puraskar Yojana’, ‘School Swachta Puraskar Yojana’ and Mahila Mandal Protsahan Yojana in the State in 2008 and had awarded Rs. 10 crore as prize money to Gram Panchayats, Mahila Mandals and schools which had excelled in total sanitation.

He said that to dispose solid waste, appropriate measures has been taken up at Panchayat level. He said that every year during first week of April all the Nirmal Gram Panchayats will be inspected so that the process was carried on without any hindrance, adding that the need of the hour was to aware people about disposal of solid waste, and availability of toilets at public places.

He said that Rs. 1 lakh each were being provided for 730 Panchayats for the construction and maintenance of Panchayat Bhawans, adding that Rs 3.40 lakh each were being provided to 366 GPs for construction of Panchayats Ghars. Chief Minister urged all the PR representatives to work for welfare of the society and disseminate the policies and programmes of the State Government so as to benefit the people at large. He said that a sum of Rs. 900 crore would be spent under MNREGA in the State during the financial year. He said that Rs. 22.40 crore were given as subsidy in the year 2010-11 in SC concentrated habitations under ‘Guru Ravi Dass Sarvjanik Unanyan Yojana’ in the State.

Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Jai Ram Thakur congratulated the winning Panchayats and said that to create public awareness regarding sanitation campaign of the State Government, as many as three hundred Kala Jathas has been formed. In addition to this a sum of Rs. 38 crore was spent to impart training to all the Panchayat representatives to carry such activities. He said that apart from Mashobra and Baijnath Panchayat training institutes, another such institute was being constructed at Thunag in District Mandi and one more training institute had been proposed for Hamirpur which will start soon. He said that Total Sanitation Campaign was also being associated with MNREGA and so for more than 1200 rain harvesting structure had been sanctioned for various schools in the State.

Earlier Social Justice and empowerment Minister Urmil Thakur welcomed the Chief Minister to her home segment and felicitated the Panchayats who received Nirmal Purarskar.

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